TVB may have made the wrong move by filling its 8:30 evening time slot with Mainland production Journey To The West <西遊記>. While TVB executives had high hopes that the fantasy drama will lure in viewers, the public unfortunately found the series lacking and had even made demands to take it off the air.
Originally released in China in 2011, Journey to the West reportedly had a production budget of $100 million RMB and a special effects team that had previously contributed to Hollywood hit Lord of the Rings. TVB made the surprising decision to air the drama during prime time, believing that its classic story line and its cast of fresh faces will add variety to its program lineup.
The show premiered on April 28 and averaged 25 ratings points. The figure slipped significantly on its second day, coming in at just 21 points. Although TVB claimed that the series was positively received, in truth, there has been strong backlash online from angry netizens. Hong Kong’s Communications Authority also received 91 complaints regarding the drama. Many voiced their disapproval over the rough special effects and incompetent make-up techniques, while others complained about the violence and questionable themes. Most of all, the public feels that the series is inappropriate for the prime-time slot and has requested its swift removal.
Despite the uproar, TVB executive Tsang Sing Ming (曾醒明) stands firmly behind the company’s decision and stated that there are no plans to cancel the series. He feels that viewers may need time to get used to the show and its techniques, and urges them to keep watching.
Journey to the West‘s poor viewership may have also affected interest in TVB’s own drama Never Dance Alone <女人俱樂部>, which occupies the subsequent time slot at 9:30 p.m. Although producer Eric Tsang (曾志偉) was confident that the Mainland fantasy epic would carry over viewers, Never Dance Alone also saw a two-point drop in ratings during its second week, averaging only 23 points.
Source: Ming Pao
This article is written by Katrine for JayneStars.com.